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The day I almost gave up – 16 mile recap from 8.16.09

August 29, 2009

Although it’s been a little while since I ran my 16 mile training run and the little details have slipped away I certainly haven’t forgotten it.

That weekend we had company, Keith and Amy, visiting and while I knew that I was going to be a sore mess after the run I had to do it. I woke up at 4am and after stretching and eating I was out the door by 5am. For breakfast I had a wasa cracker with almond butter and half of a banana. I learned quickly that I really need to focus on eating a heartier “first breakfast” because this just isn’t enough to really fuel me for runs over 10 miles.

I managed to get around 3 miles in running around my neighborhood, which is always a little boring, but REALLY makes a huge difference to think about how much further I am once I reach Publix at 6 miles instead of only 3.

As I left my neighborhood I realized that I’d never been out the main running at 6am – and it was DARK. Unfortunately there aren’t that many street lights along my route and I realized rather quickly that there were even less than I thought there were. I turned my music down and really focused on my surroundings, so much so that when the strap from my Camelbak got caught between the backpack and my back I SCREAMED out loud because I thought someone was trying to grab me from behind, lol! This actually happened a few more times (apparently I’m a slow learner!) before I found a way to wrap it around another part of the bag so it wouldn’t get wedged there again.

Once I made it to the main street it was still too dark to continue on to Publix so I took a detour through another neighborhood that is very well lit. On my way back to the main street I got something in my sock that kept poking the back of my leg but I couldn’t see anything. I eventually had to take off my shoe and sock to see what was going on but I still couldn’t see anything. I was getting really frustrated at this point and literally had sweat pouring off of me before I finally put my sock back on and said “to hell with it” and kept running. I still don’t know what was in my sock! The sunrise was beautiful and I swear as soon as it came up the humidity went down and I felt like I could breathe again! What a glorious feeling! I went past Publix and into McDonalds and when I looked at my watch I had already gone 8 miles! Woo Hoo! I was halfway there! I felt GREAT and really thought that the next 8 would be a piece of cake…Riiiiight. I washed off my face and enjoyed the cool air for a little while before heading back out again.

For both 12 and 14 I noticed that it started to get really rough between 8-10 miles and this run didn’t disappoint, unfortunately. My hamstring and glutes were BURNING and no amount of stretching was helping. My knees were also really starting to hurt and I just plodded along and tried to get lost in the music playing on my ipod. Ironically somewhere during that time frame I also had my fastest burst of running speed because my fastest pace was a 10:36’/mile – not bad for me after running 8 miles!

Once I hit mile 13 I was in pain and I still had 3 miles left. I sat down on the sidewalk to stretch along the main road and just started crying. It was totally the “ugly cry” with sobbing and snot and everything. I’m sure I was quite the sight as cars, other runners and cyclists went by. I had a “come to Jesus” talk with myself because I truly wanted to give up. I felt like I was running so slow that I’d never make the cut off time that the marathon has (6.5 hours) and I just felt like I couldn’t do it; it was too much. That’s when I had to ask myself – do I REALLY think I can’t do it? Because if I REALLY thought that then I might as well just forget about getting up ridiculously early to complete the rest of the long runs and save myself the pain and suffering. I was thisclose to throwing in the towel when I realized that I didn’t want to give up. That even if I was the last person to cross the finish line I will have participated in something AMAZING and for such a great cause that it would be worth it. I picked myself up off of the sidewalk and continued on home.

When I walked in the house I burst into tears and Carl listened to me wail about how awful the run was and how I almost completely gave up. He was incredibly encouraging and I’m so thankful that he always knows just what to say to make me feel better. I took the traditional picture with my mileage but we had to make a silly little sign for me to hold up. I made the first one with pen but since you couldn’t really read it Carl had the idea to use black tape, lol! We are so klassy over here 🙂

I look about as tired as I felt but you get the point. Carl made a yummy breakfast and I was super sore all day. I was almost in tears a few times during the day but I made it through and was so happy when I went to yoga the next morning and felt like I could walk without pain again. 16 down…10.2 more to go!

Distance – 16 miles
Time – 3:53:16
Pace – 14:35’/mi

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Croughwell permalink
    August 29, 2009 4:29 pm

    Good job!! You can do it!

  2. whatissharondoingnow permalink
    August 30, 2009 4:07 pm

    I'm catching up…I didn't realize you blogged so much the past few days…

    1. Something that came to mind on my own "run" today….I've been wearing the Garmin or a watch on all my runs lately and I know from the past that sometimes it stresses me out more. When I was taking one of my breaks on a park bench I thought "when was the last time I really enjoyed my run?" and I can't tell you the answer. Not that I'm ever going to "enjoy" a 16-miler, but even the short ones have felt stressed since going back to work. I need to remember to run the way it feels good.

    2. Your main road to Publix doesn't have streetlights? really? or is it that it doesn't have sidewalk? Make sure to really watch your step in the dark! The last thing you need is a twisted ankle. I have a 1/2 mile stretch of my morning run that I strain to see the ground, otherwise I keep it on really lit and busy roads. (it's the dark, quiet neighborhoods that freak me out.)

    3. i think it's so funny you went for black tape before grabbing a marker!

  3. Danielle permalink
    August 30, 2009 5:04 pm

    Sharon – I totally understand what you are saying with the long runs. Part of me doesn't know that I'll ever "enjoy" a run over 8-10 miles but even the short ones stress me out a little. I can't wait for the marathon to be over!

    The main road has streetlights every .5 to mile but it's a lot of dark to be running in with woods on the side. It just makes me uncomfortable so I'm glad that I had a little light for my 18 miler.

    We didn't have a marker downstairs! I wasn't about to walk up the stairs to grab one although I guess I could have had Carl take a picture up there when I went to take the ice bath. Too funny!

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